Girls on the Trail of Biodiversity, Northampton, Massachusetts

Northampton, Massachusetts – Despite advances made by women over the past three decades, studies show that the world of science remains male dominated. But many educators and institutions are working to change that. Enter Smith College's Summer Science and Engineering Program for High School Girls. The Northampton, Massachusetts college is no johnny-come-lately. Since this innovative program started in 1990, more than 1,000 high school girls from across America and abroad have participated. According to Smith College, 75% of the program's graduates say it increased their interest in science and their confidence. Each summer girls spend a full month in research courses as varied as: Designing Intelligent Robots; Telescopes and Astronomical Imaging; and, Genetics and Ecology. The Smith program is sending a clear message to teenage girls that lab coats and field glasses are a good fit, no matter what gender one is. Nancy Cohen reports from Massachusetts. (10:05) For more information, please visit:
Featured in story: Gail Scordilis, Director, Summer Science Program, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts; Chris Davis, Biologist; Fred Morrison, Naturalist and Teacher; Laurie Sanders, Naturalist and Teacher; Jo Handelsman, Microbiology Teacher, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; Andrea Minei, graduate student, Wesleyan University; Meghan Parker, student, Redmond, Washington; and Jujet Benjamin, high school student. For more information, visit the Women In Science On The Air! website at Powerful Signals: Transforming the Role of Women and Girls In Science and Engineering was made possible by support from the National Science Foundation.